Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peaceful solution urged to address feud in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 29, 2011) - "Ridu or feud is the consequence of the absence of justice or failure of the administration of justice," Professor Abhoud Syed Lingga told participants to the 2011 national convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

The CEAP convention was held recently in Davao City with the theme, “Building a culture of peace: shaping the vision, living the dream.”

Lingga, Executive Director of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies and a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel, explained to the participants that “ridu is a state of conflict where parties involved resort to violent retaliation and counter retaliation resulting to cyclic system of vengeance.”

Conflict becomes ridu when there is violent hostility between or among the parties involved resulting to retaliation. In most cases, conflict becomes ridu when it resulted to death in either party. Sometimes, even if no one dies one party takes preemptive action if he perceives that the other party has the plan to attack, he said.

He said: "If wrong is done and justice is given to the offended party, the conflict is resolve and will not lead to a ridu, but if no justice is done the response of the offended party will depend upon his capability. Access to guns will likely make the response violent."

Lingga said that ridu is practiced not only in Mindanao, but also in other parts of the Philippines, and it is a new phenomenon in Muslim communities in Mindanao.

He said ridu became a practice after the decline of the powers of the sultanate and the Bangsamoro were incorporated into the Philippine political entity, which also went with it the decline in the effectiveness of the administration of justice.

To address the problem of ridu, Lingga said that it is necessary to resolve the self-determination conflict between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine Government because the effective administration of justice requires that authority is uncontested. "Ridu in areas where authority is contested by the Philippine Government and MILF are difficult to resolve. Areas where authority is uncontested, citing the case of Camp Abubakre, ridu were easily resolve or there are even no ridu," he said.

Camp Abubakre was established in later part of 1980s and was under full control of the MILF until middle of year 2000. Crime rate in Camp Abubakre at that time was zero and there was no reported ridu. Ridu cases before the establishment of the camp or committed outside the camp were resolved when brought to the camp for mediation.

There were also cases where Christians from other parts of Mindanao went to Camp Abubakre to file complaints against Muslim respondents after their complaints were pending in Philippine courts for years, and the MILF Shari’ah Court promptly decided in favor of the Christian complainants.

Lingga also said that it is necessary to improve the administration of justice to address ridu. He revealed that in 2006, there was no municipal judge in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

He said that security reform is necessary in addressing ridu by strengthening policing, reform in jail management, and disbandment of government militias and private armies. Lingga suggested the promotion of alternative dispute resolution and use of peaceful methods in conflict resolution.

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